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Review: Our Country’s Good (Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts)

April 1st, 2015

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Our Country's Good

The Randolph Academy present a double cast for Our Country’s Good at the Annex Theatre in Toronto

Tuesday night was the opening of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts‘ production of Our Country’s Good at the Annex Theatre. Eight months ago I hadn’t ever heard of the play; since then I’ve seen two productions. One last night and the other in September at The Royal Alex.

I enjoyed last night’s performance more. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheap Theatre in Toronto for the Week of March 31st, 2015

March 31st, 2015

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Live shows for $20 or Less

You don’t see enough comedy. I mean, I get it: maybe stand-up’s not your thing (“Am I right, ladies?”), and maybe the earnestness of improv puts you off — but if you can stomach a scripted proscenium show, you can handle a evening of sketches. So let’s send you to some! This week’s Cheap Theatre isn’t all comedy, but there’s a lot of it going, and a lot of it’s damned cheap.

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Buzz: ShakesBeer (Classical Theatre Project)

March 31st, 2015

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At Mooney on Theatre, we love the Classical Theatre Project. Whenever we see them, we have a marvelous time, and we especially dig their mandate of making classics relevant to new audiences and in new ways — particularly in schools.

So when we heard about their revival of ShakesBeer, we were excited. ShakesBeer combines a production of a CTP favourite — the highly irreverent Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) — with three other Mooney favourites: beer, pies, and the Artscape Wychwood Barns. It’s a noisy, boisterous and hilarious evening under the stars with plenty to please devoted fans and newcomers alike.

Best of all, CPT is offering a $10 discount for readers of Mooney on Theatre: just use code brew39 at checkout.

Tickets start at $49 ($39 with the promo code) and normally sell quickly, so if this sounds up your alley, snatch one up while you’ve got the chance!

(Full press release follows under the jump.)

Details

  • ShakesBeer plays the Artscape Wychwood Barns on April 18th, 2015. Two performances, one at 6:30 and one at 9:00.
  • Tickets are $49 for general admission, $79 for premium seating.
  • Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone at 416-915-6750.
  • All tickets include three complimentary beer tastings. Additional beverages and meat pies will be available for sale.
  • If you’re bringing kids, we recommend the early performance; the cast is normally a little looser by the 9:00 show. (Of course, that means it’s more fun for the grown-up!)

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Review: Pushpins (Bad Dog Theatre)

March 31st, 2015

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IMG_0084

Toronto’s Bad Dog Theatre Company offers hilarious budget-friendly weekly improv

The Bad Dog Comedy Theatre is hard to find on a cold night, but my plus-one and I were able to spot it hidden between buildings. We opened the door and walked up a narrow staircase into a bar. The place was packed. All the bar seats were taken. People were chatting excitedly. I could feel the hyped energy of the place before we even got our tickets. I knew then, that this was going to be a fun crowd.

A fun crowd is essential for the kind of show that Pushpins is doing. The crew of ten comics have to improvise sketches based on suggestions by the audience. Instead of asking for suggestions every few minutes, the crew takes only two suggestions from the audience at the very beginning: a location and an adjective. The crew uses that to collectively invent a little universe. The audience gives them an idea and they run with it.
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Play Listings for the Week of March 30, 2015

March 30th, 2015

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Shows that Caught our Eye this Week

If you’re a fan of comedy or musicals or both, this is certainly your week to check out some great theatre that Toronto has to offer. From Hairspray to RENT and plenty of laughs to be had over at the Comedy Bar, it’s the perfect opportunity to make this a fun-filled week. I’ve highlighted the shows that I would love to see in red. Have a look at see what grabs your attention.

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Review: Nature of the Beast (Lone Wolf Collective)

March 27th, 2015

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nature of the beast

Nature of the Beast, at the Storefront Theatre in Toronto, leaves audiences “unsettled and unsatisfied”

Nature of the Beast turns upon Francis (Nicholas Rice), a genial old stoner — think Bob Ross and his happy little trees — who lives in a tiny cottage up the ass-end of nowhere. He earns a little money selling wood carvings, and a lot of money as an unlikely dom, entertaining a parade of privileged city slickers who’d like to be whipped into shape in his basement.

All’s well until Francis’ teenaged nephew (Jakob Ehman) drops in suddenly and expects to stay: big argument at home, things that can’t be unsaid, and the kid’s got nowhere else to go.

But as Francis tries to balance these two worlds which can’t collide — the fragile high school student in the guestroom, the client (Clint Butler) chained to the wall in the basement — his life slowly begins to unravel, until playwright Brandon Crone finally reveals (here it comes, folks, I hope you’re ready) the Nature of the Beast.

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Review: The Gospel According to Mark (Soulpepper)

March 25th, 2015

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Soulpepper theatre in Toronto offers up a dramatic and intimate reading of a biblical tale

Gospel

I was a little nervous entering the Young Centre to see The Gospel According to Mark. While I had a high-church upbringing (two of my grandparents were Church of England ministers) it just never took, and it’s been years since I’ve been inside a church, weddings and funerals excepted.

But the marketing promised a “fresh, transcendent and thrillingly immediate” take on the story; Kenneth Welsh is as close to a rockstar as one gets in Canadian live theatre; and even Richard Dawkins thinks the King James Bible is a beautiful work of literature on its own merits, one of the most poetic and significant texts produced in the west. Surely it’s worth a shot?

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Cheap Theatre for the Week of March 24 2015

March 24th, 2015

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Live Shows for $25 or Less

This week’s selection of theatre on a budget will sure to illicit a few laughs out of you and quite possibly a lot more. Yes, it’s comedy but not just any comedy — for a few of these selected shows there’s a twisted and darker sided edge accompanying those chuckles. So if you enjoy your laughs with a sinister twist, I encourage you to keep reading and find something fun to see! (Plus one of these shows is a must-see for fans of the late great Terry Pratchett!)

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Review: Subway Stations Of The Cross (Soulpepper)

March 24th, 2015

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Subway_03

Soulpepper Theatre presents Ins Choi’s latest one-man show Subway Stations of the Cross in Toronto

Ins Choi, current Soulpepper Resident Artist who is well-known for his smash hit Kim’s Convenience, mounts this one man show as part of Soulpepper‘s Studio Series. In Subway Stations of the Cross, Choi plays the character of a proselytizing homeless man who lives in a subway station and spends his time expounding on Christian mythology, interspersed with nuggets from Greek and Roman mythologies and pop culture references. Read the rest of this entry »

Toronto Play Listings for the Week of March 23, 2015

March 23rd, 2015

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Shows that Caught our Eye this Week

It’s another week of great theatre here in Toronto with plenty to check out if you’re looking for something different to spice up your evening or weekend. I’ve indicated the shows I’d love to check out by marking them red and staring them with double asterisks. So have a look, see if there’s something that also catches your eye and go see some theatre!

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